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Best Business iPad and iPhone Apps for Productivity on the Go

It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>

I've noticed a lot of smart business people working from their iPhone or iPad at various times to get things done, so this week I asked our panel of experts …

What are your favorite iPhone or iPad apps that you rely upon for your business productivity on the go?

Let's dig right in….

Shannon Cherry of The Business Building Live Intensive says:

My goodness! How did we survive without our iPhones? I was an early adopter. My husband, however, didn't think it was valuable for a business person. “An expensive toy,” he would say when I used it. But then, when I showed him what I was doing on it to be more productive, he changed cell phone carriers to mine!

So what are my invaluable iPhone apps?

  • Mail (duh!)
  • Paypal – there's nothing like being able to see sales come in anytime… and send money too!
  • WordPress – I actually use my iphone to delete spam and make comments on my blog. It's the perfect thing to do when waiting in line or for my kids' school bus to arrive.
  • And my new favorite: SQUARE. It allows you to swipe or key in credit cards for sales. It's quick; it's easy; and no merchant account is needed.

Jeanette S. Cates, PhD of Teleseminar Basics says:

I use my iPad when I travel for just a few days and when I'm in the living room and don't want to walk ALL the way to the office. (grinning) So I really don't have heavy productivity software on it. I do use the notepad extensively for taking notes in a seminar. And I use a mifi connection when I need to connect in the seminar.

But the most important accessory I have is my wireless keyboard. It weighs nothing, is a full-size keyboard and speeds my typing significantly. I can't imagine typing much without it!

As for apps –

  • On both iPhone and iPad I use the built-in email system. I use Google maps on my iPhone as a GPS when I'm traveling – or going to a strange field for one of my grandkids' soccer games. I have both Facebook and Echofon on them so I can keep up with Facebook and Twitter.
  • On the iPad I use Roboform so I can log into all of my password-protected sites without remembering a password. And I use GoodReader to read PDFs and unzip files. And naturally I also have my Kindle app on both so that I can switch between them as I'm reading.

I highly recommend both! They provide a seamless environment for connectivity.

Alice Seba of Contentrix says:

I really don’t think I could live without my iPhone and my iPad is a treasure too. They allow me to stay connected (but not too connected!) and organized. Frankly, I’m not sure how I survived without them!

My favorite apps that I rely on (besides email and the note pad that come with the phone) are:

  • Calendars – Google Calendar: It’s an app created by Readdle that syncs with my Google calendar. So whenever I update something on my computer, it’s automatically on my iPhone. It also sends me reminders, so I know what’s up for each day.
  • WordPress: The WordPress app makes it easy to moderate comments, add posts, upload images and videos and more. Definitely a timesaver and keeps me from having to drag out the laptop each time I want to update or add something quickly.
  • SugarSync: This is actually an online back-up service that automatically backs up files on my laptop, iPhone and iPad. It’s perfect for whenever I need to refer to a document that is sitting on my computer. In fact, I just used it this morning to send an image that Nicole had asked for.
  • FTP on the Go: This is a great little app that allows me to update pages on my HTML sites. There’s nothing worse than being out and about and someone tells you there’s an error on one of your pages. With this app, I can get in there quickly and fix things up in a jiffy. Or if it’s late at night and I need to a remove an offer that just expired, I can do that lazing about in bed…no laptop required.
  • Yahoo Messenger: There’s nothing terribly special about this app, but it allows me to communicate live with my VA. I can answer her questions, send her tasks while I’m riding my bike (I get off first, of course) or am out running errands.
  • Misc. Social Media Apps: I also use a variety of social media apps because I try to limit my social media use to when I’m off the computer. Computer time is concentrated work time, so being able to catch up on social media while on the couch is awesome.

Lynn Terry of Clicknewz says:

I rely on a number of apps since I manage the majority of my business mobile now. My absolute favorite out of all the apps I use is Evernote. And it's free. 😀

The best thing about Evernote is that it's compatible with practically every platform, and it syncs seamlessly cross-platform. I have it running on my Android smart phone, my desktop PC, my Macbook Pro and my iPad. No matter which device I am on, I can access and update my files – and it updates across every device instantly.

Let's say I'm sitting in my office and think of things I need from the store. I can open up Evernote and add the items to my shopping list. Later I may be out on the back deck with my Macbook when I think of something else – so I add it. Then when I am actually at the store, I can pull out my mobile and access the list on my Evernote app.

I'll often keep event notes in Evernote, and also jot down blog post ideas or even draft a blog post in Evernote when I'm mobile (from my Droid or my iPad). Then when I get back to my office, I sit down at my desk and all of my notes and posts are right there in front of me. No transferring files!

And the cool thing – you don't even need to be online to use Evernote. So if you're in a no service area, you can still make notes or draft ideas, and when you get back online it will sync up with the rest of your devices. Great feature if you have ideas mid-flight and you're in Airplane mode, or if you're camping in the middle of nowhere and have no 3G signal. Because for some insane reason, that's where you always get your brightest ideas 😉 LOL…

David Perdew of NAMS says:

In addition to the ones listed above, I like these, too.

  • – it allows you to do some creative things with pictures pretty quickly and post them to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, e-mail and Best Camera site – here's mine.
  • Facebook‘s new iPhone app is really good too.
  • eTrade is excellent if you manage stocks.
  • And soon, you'll have the MyNAMS Forum App for your iPhone / iPad / Droid
  • Can't live without Roboform for the iPhone.
  • Carbonite to access all my backed up files from the iPhone.
  • Flickr for accessing pictures and sharing them.
  • iThoughts is a really nice Mindmapping software that can be saved in Freemind format to dropbox or your backed up system.
  • Mashable, LinkedIn and PayPal.

Okay, maybe I have too many iPhone apps, but I live on my iPhone.

Lynette Chandler of Tech Based Marketing says:

Because our office is multi-platform (everything from iPhone to Droid, Macs to PC's, iPads to Android tablets) about 2 years ago I made a decision to be as platform independent as possible. This way, it doesn't matter what we are using, desktop or laptop, phone or iPad – I have access to as much of what is needed to work as possible.

For this reason, the apps for both my phone and iPad overlap. Among the first apps installed on all devices are:
1. Evernote

2. Dropbox

3. Roboform

4. GQueues – Project and task manager – this is not exactly an app but a web based app you access via the browser yet behaves like an app. I'm becoming quite attached to GQueues so this is essential.

5. Feedly – much more attractive way to read feeds and get ideas for content.

6. Gmail – I don't necessarily use an app but it definitely gets tied into all devices. Best of all, because I use Google Apps, syncing is never a problem.

7. Kindle

For the phone only they are
1. BizCalendar by Mikado ADORE the many calendar widgets.
2. Navigation – this is turn by turn GPS directions that came with my phone. Good when visiting a new local client and am sure later for local meetups.
3. FlexT9 – I can ‘write' instead of type and something else called trace or swype. You don't type but you just trace the words with your finger this is fantastic. Of course with Android I can talk instead of type. The problem – I'm just not a talker.

For iPad only
1. WordPress
2. iBooks

NicoleNicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

Well, the reason why I asked this question was because I wanted to use my iPads more productively, plus I'm switching from a HTC to an iPhone very soon. So, WOW. Now I have work to do, installing and learning all of these apps.

The three apps that I've been using the most are…

1. Dropbox. This allows me to easily upload files to my iPad without having to use iTunes. I can access anything that I have in dropbox from my iPad as long as I have an internet connection.

2. Skype. I just started playing with the Skype app, but it's already saved my butt twice. My phone battery was dead, so I just called on Skype from my iPad. The only problem with it, is that it doesn't hang up automatically when you close your iPad with a smart cover. I was talking on my iPad to my friend, Tracy Roberts, and I said “bye” and threw my iPad in my purse (where it lives) and I could hear Tracy saying “Nik? Nik? I can hear you….” from my purse.  lol. So, yes, it's awesome, but … I'm still learning. 🙂

3. And, of course, the Gmail app that pulls my gmail into my iPad so I can easily keep tabs on my mail.

The others that I like but don't use daily are..

1. OnlyWire.  Hooks into my account.

2. Pulse. I can pull in the feeds from my favorite blogs and catch up and comment on them while I'm out and about and feeling lazy.

3. Facebook. Gotta keep tabs on my Facebook friends and fans.

4. Adobe Reader. To easily read .pdf files.

5. Mindjet. For mapping out my crazy plans.

6. QuickVoice. Records my dictation and will email it to me.

7. Dragon Dictation. Transcribes my words into text. However, you do have to say the punctuation. Like “Today I would like to talk about iPhone and iPad apps period these apps will help you to be more productive period”. 

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on other fun stuff that I find.

So, what's installed on your iPad or iPhone that helps you with your business? Talk to me. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole Dean

PS. Be sure to check out my additional tips here on -> how to increase productivity.

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Angela Wills

    Great apps lists! Thanks for posting and sharing. There are a few I haven’t really gotten into using, one being Evernote that I’ve been meaning to use more often.

    Last night I found a great Christmas list app for iphone called ‘Better Christmas List’. I think it’s going to help be me more productive with my Christmas shopping!

  • Jen Knox

    Wow, so many of these I already have! Glad I’m in good company!

    I agree with Lynn….my favorite app is Evernote and I use it on my laptop, my Android phone and my iPad and I also do the shopping list thing as well. I love that you can create real checklists with checkboxes and it all syncs up across all platforms. I also use Dropbox and to access more storage on the go.

    I also have to add that a few banking apps have saved my butt at times. The Chase app allows you to take a photo of a check (front and back) and then deposit it electronically without needing to go the branch or mail it in. Love it!

    I’m also a huge fan of Adobe Photoshop Express for making some quick photo edits!

  • Dave McArthy

    As a person relatively new to the Apple world, learning about all these great apps will be a timesaver. Nice to see dropbox is available! 🙂

  • Savvy Subcontracting

    It’s interesting to see that each person using quite different apps. They have something for every industry.

  • jonathan

    Hey Guys!
    Nice list thanks for sharing… Would like to add Future Scheduler app (paid) for iPhone this helps you in scheduling text messages, emails, status update and phone calls. Check it out!!!
    Download from

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